About The Foundation

Giving Back to the Community

Giving Back to the Community Established in 1981, the Wolverine Bar Foundation serves as the charitable arm of the Wolverine Bar Association. The Foundation supports programs that raise money for the distribution of scholarships to deserving students, host programs that educate and instruct students on the fundamental skills needed for a legal career, supports various charitable and educational activities, and sponsors community outreach programs.

Donate today to support our programs and scholarships! The Wolverine Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – all or part of your gift may be tax deductible as a charitable contribution. Once you have made your donation, contact our office for further tax information.

Programs & Events

The WBF conducts numerous annual events and programs.

Barristers’ Ball

The Annual Barristers’ Ball sponsored by the Wolverine Bar Foundation. The Ball is the primary fundraising event for the WBF’s charitable activities.

Holiday Party

The Wolverine Bar holds an annual holiday party, which is a networking event co-hosted with the D. Augustus Straker Bar Association (Straker). Proceeds from the event benefit a local charity.

Summer Clerkship Program (SEP)

The SCP Committee coordinates the Wolverine Bar’s annual summer clerkship program, which is designed to increase the number of minority attorneys employed as partners; associates; in-house counsel; and similarly, well-respected positions within the legal community.

Judicial Externship Program (JEP)

JEP seeks to increase the representation of minority law school graduates among the ranks of clerks working the federal judiciary.

Minority Bar Passage Program (MBPP)

The MBPP designed to improve bar passage rates of minority law school graduates sitting for the Michigan Bar Exam. Through weekly examinations, a mock bar examination, group sessions and lectures by local attorneys, the MBPP provides assistance in the areas of essay writing/ skills strategy; test taking skills/ strategy; time management; and stress management. At its peak, the program has had up to 50 participants, studying for the July Bar Examination.

Scholarship Program

The scholarships available for minority law students include the Wolverine Bar Foundation Scholarship and the Damon J. Keith Award and Scholarship. The award winners are typically recognized in the spring/ summer. The type of scholarship offered and the award amounts vary each year.

MLK Oral Advocacy Competition

Co-hosted with Straker, this annual competition is designed to promote the written and oral communication skills of high school juniors and seniors. The program provides both mentorship and financial support to the competitors in support of their educational goals. In 2016, 89 Detroit area high school students participated in the program. 6 finalists competed, with 5 placing and receiving awards from $1,000-$5,000.

Mentorship Program

The program is designed to help minority law students bridge the gap between law school and the “real practice” of law.

Pipeline Programming

The Pipeline Committee is responsible for developing educational programming targeted at middle school and high school students and creating initiatives to ensure a pathway to success in the legal and other professional fields.

WBF Officers 


Diane Hutcherson
Robbie Gaines

Macie Gaines

Jessica Mills


WBF Board of Directors

Allen Venable
Imm. Past Pres. 

Eric Mathis Judge
Craig Strong
Victoria Roberts
Kim Ward
Nikkiya Branch Penson